Long, sunny days are nearly here, and that can only mean one thing: everyone’s beloved summer indulgence, ice cream!
While the number of ice cream shops in Cleveland may not rival the abundance of craft breweries and independent coffee houses, this city still offers a plethora of delightful spots to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Whether you crave classic cones, unique flavors, or something a little outlandish, Cleveland’s ice cream scene has it all.
The Crème de la Crème: Cleveland’s Top Ice Cream Shops
Allow me to present a curated list of locally-owned establishments that dish out the absolute best ice cream in Cleveland.
(Note that these recommendations are not ranked in any particular order because, honestly, picking favorites when it comes to ice cream is an impossible task!)
1. Mitchell’s Ice Cream
Mitchell’s Homemade Ice Cream has been a cherished staple in Cleveland ever since Pete and Mike Mitchell inaugurated their first shop in Westlake back in 1999. The dynamic duo soon expanded their empire to include shops in Solon, Rocky River, Beachwood, and beyond. In 2014, they established their flagship store and kitchen in Ohio City. Today, they boast a grand total of 10 shops spread throughout the Greater Cleveland area.
My personal favorite Mitchell’s location is their Ohio City flagship store, where you can even partake in behind-the-scenes tasting tours of their kitchen.
Mitchell’s offers dozens of meticulously crafted flavors of ice cream, yogurt, and sorbet. They prioritize using locally sourced ingredients from Ohio whenever possible. In addition to perennial favorites, they also feature seasonal offerings such as Lavender Honey in the spring, Campfire S’mores in the summer, Pumpkin Spice in the fall, and Peppermint Stick in the winter. Vegan and sugar-free options are also available, along with a variety of sundaes, shakes, cakes, and more.
2. Mason’s Creamery
4401 Bridge Ave, Cleveland
If you’re on the lookout for innovative, Instagram-worthy ice cream flavors, look no further than Mason’s Creamery in Ohio City. This small-batch ice cream shop prides itself on experimenting with unique flavors and creating everything from scratch. They constantly introduce new creations, be it soft serve, ice cream donut sandwiches, or exciting collaborations with local brands and businesses.
I simply adore Mason’s shop, with its inviting outdoor picnic tables and vibrant murals—it’s the perfect place to spend a summer evening. And if you follow a dairy-free diet, you’ll be thrilled to discover one of the most extensive selections of vegan-friendly flavors in town.
Oh, and you must try their ice cream served inside a freshly made egg waffle at least once!
During the winter months, Mason’s shakes things up by temporarily shifting their focus from ice cream to ramen noodles, making them a truly one-of-a-kind year-round destination. Additionally, they have introduced Korean corn dogs to their summer menu in 2022, building on their success from the previous year.
3. Honey Hut
When I reached out to fellow ice cream enthusiasts on Twitter to inquire about their favorite spots in Cleveland, one name kept cropping up: Honey Hut.
Although Honey Hut doesn’t have a downtown Cleveland location, it is such a beloved local treasure that it absolutely deserves a place on this list. Since 1974, they have been serving up delectable ice cream in the Greater Cleveland area. What sets them apart is their use of honey as a sweetener, rather than traditional sugar.
You can find five different Honey Hut locations in the Greater Cleveland area: Brecksville, Brunswick, Old Brooklyn, Parma, and Solon. With 13 regular homemade flavors and ever-changing monthly specials, they are sure to have something to suit all taste buds. Make sure to sample their Honey Pecan (a delightful take on butter pecan) and Orange Blossom flavors—they’re a must-try!
4. Remixx Ice Cream + Cereal Bar
11512 Clifton Blvd, Cleveland (Edgewater/Gold Coast)
Dreaming of indulging in all your favorite 90s childhood treats, but in ice cream form? Well, look no further than Remixx Ice Cream + Cereal Bar.
At Remixx, all ice cream starts as vanilla, but it’s up to you to create your own flavor combinations by adding sugary cereals and other sweet treats for an utterly nostalgic ice cream experience.
Be warned—the ice cream cones here may come at a higher price, but they are HUGE and made to order based on your personal specifications. Each order includes cereal blended into the ice cream, additional cereals or treats on top, and a drizzle to bring everything together.
Remixx offers suggested flavor combinations on their menu, or you can let your imagination run wild and create your own concoction.
They serve their ice cream in cups, cones, and milkshakes. Just be prepared—you might need some help finishing your order!
5. Cathy’s Gourmet Ice Cream Sandwiches
401 Euclid Ave., Cleveland
Take your ice cream experience to a whole new level by enjoying it sandwiched between two scrumptious cookies! Located inside the Cleveland Arcade, Cathy’s is renowned for its delectable ice cream sandwiches, although they also serve regular scoops of ice cream.
Addicted Coffee and Ice Cream
13743 Madison Ave, Lakewood (with shops in Mentor and Stow, too)
Although not exclusively an ice cream joint, Lakewood’s Addicted became an internet sensation last year thanks to their Crazy Shakes. These extravagant milkshake creations might set you back about $15, but they are meant to be shared.
Honorable Mention 2:
Ball Ball Waffle
2999 Payne Ave Suite 126, Cleveland (AsiaTown)
Ball Ball Waffle, located inside Asia Plaza, is primarily known for its Hong Kong-style street food, which includes bubble waffles, egg tarts, milk tea, and more. However, what many ice cream enthusiasts don’t realize is that they also serve their freshly made bubble waffles topped with one or two delicious scoops of ice cream. I highly recommend trying their chocolate waffle filled with banana and paired with a scoop of strawberry ice cream.
One of the highlights of this spot is getting to witness the magical process of creating those bubble waffles, including the final touch of using a hair dryer to give them their signature crispiness.
Great Ice Cream Shops Beyond Cleveland
Still in quest of more exceptional local ice cream shops in the Greater Cleveland area? Here are a few more options to explore:
- Kamm’s Corners Ice Cream Company – A favorite hangout in Kamms Corner.
- East Coast Custard – This local frozen custard chain boasts locations in Fairview Park, Parma Heights, and Lyndhurst.
- Graeter’s Ice Cream – Originating from Cincinnati, Graeter’s has expanded to include locations in Beachwood and Westlake.
- Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream & Yogurt – This Youngstown-based ice cream chain has establishments in Broadview Heights, Northfield, and Twinsburg, with a downtown Cleveland location reportedly on the horizon.
- Pop Culture CLE – Situated in Solon, this dessert shop offers a wide assortment of delectable treats. While they are known for their ice cream on a stick, they also serve delicious soft serve cones with fun toppings and a variety of vegan flavors.
- The Treatery – Nestled inside Akron’s Northside Marketplace, this whimsical spot serves made-to-order rolled ice cream. You can enjoy your rolled ice cream in a cup, as a float, or even in a waffle cone taco!
Please note that not all of these Cleveland ice cream shops remain open during the winter season, so be sure to check their operating hours online if you plan to visit during that time.
Where’s Your Go-To Ice Cream Spot in Cleveland?
We’ve covered some of the finest ice cream joints in Cleveland, but now it’s your turn. We’d love to hear about your personal favorite spot to grab a cone or cup of creamy goodness in the city!
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